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A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Author: John Irving
Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul is both extraordinary and terrifying. At moments a comic, self-deluded ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345361790
ISBN-10: 0345361792
Publication Date: 4/14/1990
Pages: 640
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 751 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

perryfran avatar reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 1171 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
Excellent novel!! The novel is very profound -- touching on religion, politics, friendship, and fate. It took me some time to get through the book (it was long and sometimes tedious) and sometimes Irving's style bothered me - he likes to jump around a lot -- from Owen's and Johnny's childhood to the late 80's and back. The OWEN character is unforgettable with his extraordinary perception and VOICE. The novel takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion from humor to moments of sadness. The Vietnam War and the politics of Reagan are also key to the novel (I wonder what Irving thinks of the current situation in Iraq ?!). Overall, I would highly recommend this book -- it's well worth the time investment to read. I have read a few other Irving novels including "The Cider House Rules" (which was wonderful) and "The Hotel New Hampshire" (which I thought was so-so). I'll be reading more Irving in the future.
JiminyCricket avatar reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 150 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This was my first Irving book and at first it seemed a huge undertaking and a bit confusing, but he kept the pace up so the confused parts went by fast and eventually I understood his line of thinking and writing and ended up LOVING this book.

It is part mystery, part good ol' "back in the good old days" story-telling, with some comedy and some [just a little bit over the top] political "down memory lane" sections, thrown in for good measure.

All in all you end up wishing the book wouldn't end and amazed at his writing skills. I wished I'd discovered him [Irving] sooner.
Shanrene avatar reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
One of the best books I've ever read. Owen Meany is an amazing old soul and an amazing boy. This book is one of few that has made me laugh out well as cry at the end.
reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
"Owen Meany,the only child of a New Hampshire granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument: he is. This is John Irving's most comic novel; yet Owen Meany is Mr. Irving's most heartbreaking character."

For once the back cover gets it 100% right...this is one of the five most beautiful books I have ever I got to the end of it I was counting the pages, hoping more would magically appear, and hoping that the inevitable would not happen. They didn't, and it did, but the book is still magnificent. If you need a booster shot for your faith in humanity, this is it!
reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I enjoyed this book very much for its touching and funny moments and have bought this book as a gift for friends in the past because it was such a memorable read.
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reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on
A Prayer for Ownen Meany is one of Irving's finest! He builds the narrative in such a way that you can't help but be absorbed by the plot even though so much remains a mystery until the conclusion. Everything makes perfect sense in the end like the intricate folds of origami. This book has a wholesomness to it that most of Irvings do not---- it will appeal to readers who do not like the author's other novels. It's one of those books you miss once finished.
katethegreat avatar reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 69 more book reviews
Definitely a different take on a person's purpose in life. If you like Irving, you will like this book.
reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 94 more book reviews
Wow what a great book. I remember seeing Simon Birch which is a movie that was ever so slightly based on this book. The book is much better. Owen is a very small person with a squeaky child like voice that never matures. He thinks he was sent from god to perform a miracle. Some of this based on the fact he was told by his parents that his was a virgin birth. His mom was supposedly a virgin when he was conceived. Owen is a very likable and distinct character but I also grew to like the narrator John. Religion, War, Politics play a vivid role in the narration of this story. I think Irving is a master in literature and I am happy I have been introduced to this talent. It is almost like irving has written his autobiography thru the writings of his life. This one especially. The missing father, New Hampshire, boarding school, Canada are shared by him, his characters and the various works. This is a long book. Even as a paperback and it took some time for me to get engaged. But once I did, I was pulled in and enjoyed the ride. This is literary genius at its best.
reviewed A Prayer for Owen Meany on + 3 more book reviews
If this is not the best book I have read (actually listened to), it is easily in the top three. The characters are unforgettable. I am not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much if I read it vs listening to it. Owen Meany's unforgettable voice is central to the books plot. A story of friendship, loss, a little mystery and deep faith. As Johnny said, "I am a Christian because of Owen Meany." Owen touched many people in his young, all too brief life. The characters and especially Owen Meany, will stay with me for a long time.